Queen of Greenwich Village | Clara Tice (1888-1973)

Nickolas Muray , Clara Tice with Her Dog, 1924

Clara Tice (22 May 1888 – 2 February 1973) was an American avant-garde illustrator and artist, 
who spent most of her life in New York City, United States. Because of her provocative art and 
public appearances, she was seen as representative of bohemian Greenwich Village and thus 
known as "The Queen of Greenwich Village."

Clara Tice, Luxurious Bed, 1915
Clara Tice, Cocktail Shaker, n.d.
Clara Tice, Pretty Sofa, n.d.
 Clara Tice, 1888-1973                                Clara Tice, n.d.    

Even more than her drawings of nudes, Tice’s adventurous wardrobe changed the conservative 
attitudes of her day.  Tice was among the first to advocate wearing short dresses and rolled-up
 stockings, although she warned anyone who was willing to listen that women were misguided 
in trying to attract men on the basis of their appearances alone.  
“Brains [and] the ability to do things.” she declared, “are the things that attract a man.” 
It may have been precisely these qualities that drew  her to the attention of Marcel Duchamp
whom she probably met in September 1916 at a fancy dress ball, where she won first prize
 and Duchamp, who served as one of the judges, was awarded the booby prize. 

Through Duchamp, Tice visited the home of Walter and Louise Arensberg, who opened their
 art-filled apartment on West 67th Street in Manhattan to nearly nightly gatherings of New 
York’s most celebrated and vanguard artists and writers.  Tice participated in the 1917 
Independents Exhibition, showing one of her dancing nudes and a drawing of a 
nude with cat.  

She also contributed a portrait of Edgard Varèse Composing to the second and last issue 
of The Blind Man, a journal organized by Duchamp and his friends to defend Fountain, 
the readymade urinal submitted to the exhibition by Duchamp (under the pseudonym R. Mutt)
 that was refused from display by the hanging committee.

 Clara Tice, n.d.                                                                                       Clara Tice, 1924
Clara Tice, Zebra mother and baby

During the 1920s, she illustrated about a dozen books with her erotic images, these are nowadays
 expensive collector's items. In 1940, her own book called ABC Dogs was published. It is a 
children's book in which each letter of the alphabet is represented by a dog breed whose 
name starts with the same letter. This publication sparked renewed interest in Tice and 
her art. She also worked on her memoirs, which she never completed.

Clara Tice, Black Puma, Hippopotamus, Dog and Her Pups, Giraffe and Elephant Frolicking
 Clara Tice, n.d.    
Clara Tice and her dog, 1916                 Clara Tice in medieval costume and riding a horse, 1916

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